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PICTURES: New mud, sand and water fun for disabled students at a Mansfield school

Mansfield students can cook up a treat at their outdoor mud kitchen at a new outdoor learning centre - just make sure you do not eat it.

Fountaindale School on Nottingham Road, Mansfield, which caters for children with disabilities, had officially opened its new outdoor learning centre as part of ongoing work to make-over the playground and courtyard.

Official opening of Fountaindale School outdoor learning garden, pictured with children is Principal Stuart Cameron

Official opening of Fountaindale School outdoor learning garden, pictured with children is Principal Stuart Cameron

The new early years outdoor learning environment includes a number of elements to encouraging movement through multi-sensory play.

The school hosted a garden party on Wednesday, June 13, to show off the latest additions including a mud kitchen, a water play environment and a wheelchair accessible sandpit.

Other new additions include a barefoot sensory path to feel different textures either underfoot or through their wheelchairs and a mini horticultural area where children can experience the smells of flowers, fruit and vegetables and enjoy growing them.

Stuart Cameron is principal at the school which can look after up to 75 children aged three to 19 with physical disabilities.

He said: “I would like to express my deepest thanks on behalf of the Fountaindale pupils for a fantastic play and education facility that is only possible through donations from benefactors and the dedicated fund-raising of school staff.”

The Royal Bank of Scotland, and charity fund-raising group George’s Army helped raise money for the new additions and attended the event with ex-pupils, pupils, parents and staff.

The school was graded as ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted in March 2017 and the school continues to raise funds to improve the lives of its pupils for future additions for the playground.

With a significant donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, work has also started on redeveloping the central courtyard area to include an area based on the rainforest and a chill-out area for pupils with a variety of seating, grass mat surfacing and a planted area.

Future plans include an accessible active playground, a pond dipping area, a forest canopy tree walk and a reflective space.